War of the Worlds
A Lesson in Futility
One thing that's always worth mentioning in any film adaption is pacing. The 2005 low budget War of the Worlds staring Howell as George (not the 2005 Tom Cruse remake) started off as most movies should. They set up an environment where everything is running smoothly or at the very least at an acceptable level. The relationship between the George and his wife seemed positive. He seems to genuinely enjoy his son at least on the surface level. Generally the director at this point has a plan in mind to draw you into the lives of the characters and make them likable. Now in the film, the drop from status quo to disaster happens just too fast even for a movie. There isn't nearly as much time in a movie so it’s understandable that usually they cut a large portion of the exposition and set up. H G Wells's 'War of the Worlds' the tantalized his readers with promises of an incredible story where in Earth is being watched by aliens. This piece of narration completely excluded from this movie and there's nothing wrong with that. But the director of this movie didn't pace it very well. I there was no time to understand the character before he was tossed into a very dangerous situation. It's important that we care about the characters safety before it is actually threatened. They jump straight from set up to inciting incident in around seven and a half minutes. Consequently there was absolutely no attachment to any of the charters and it felt half hazard throughout.
Seperation and isolation
Though the specifics of the plots aren't quite the same the major events do match up with pretty good accuracy. That is getting trapped in a building where the aliens have chosen to set up base. The narrator of the book was trapped for days at a time with only one companion. This was both good and bad because of the shared food source they had to live on. All the fear and panic was definitely captured in all it's entirety. Chaos and complete isolation are both adjectives that could be used for both the movie and the novel. In that respect they both have the same tone. It's everybody running around in an anarchist society where no one is worried in the slightest about steeling or any other law for that matter. These characters are all delineated as refuges. That was present in both the novel and the 2005 Howell remake.
Final scene in the movie
It was the case for the majority of H G Wells novel that all the characters were doomed to a life of constant traveling. They never could sit still in one place for more than a day for fear of facing the aliens. it was most definitely harsh living conditions for everyone involved. Even the aliens who dictated the fight seemed to have their share of struggles. This is the angle that the movie played to bring the foreigners to their knees in then end. There were little bits and pieces of evidence that this world would prove inhabitable for them from the very beginning. It was all in the way the aliens couldn't seem to hold themselves up right outside of their metal armor. Wells through his narrator really goes into great detail about the outward appearance and just tough of a time these creatures had outside of their shells. The aliens had a weakness. In the Movie however there were none to be found. Very little focus was put on the aliens in fact or their motivation. Wells also made it clear that the visitors were primarily after Earth. But there were no real hints of this in the film adaption. This lake of opening gives the movie a bit more of a hopeless feel to it. Humanity had no hope left. In the book there seemed to be more of a motivation behind their travels. There was no real reason in the movie however. It became just about pure survival.
The focus shifts